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Crawl or Die

This is about as bad as it gets
A punk rock chick spends 75 minutes crawling through a culvert while being chased by an Alien type monster. First she crawls through a regular culvert, then she crawls through a very narrow tunnel, then for the big climax she crawls through a culvert that's three- quarters full of dirt. There's dialogue, but you can't understand 90% of it - not that it matters in the slightest. The whole thing is edited together in such a way that you haven't got a clue what's going on. You hear gunshots, but you don't know if the people you're looking at are shooting or being shot at. It's all very dark and every half second or so, just as you've almost made out what you're looking at, the scene changes, and changes, and changes.

This is just as bad as it gets. I've watched literally hundreds of low budget horror and sci-fi movies and there's absolutely no excuse for making a movie where we are literally watching someone crawl through a culvert the entire time.

Alive or Dead

No redeeming qualities whatsoever
Two girls get kidnapped and taken to a large house out in the desert. There's also a fat retarded guy wandering around the place. The girls explore the house. Atmosphere? This movie has all the scary atmosphere of an open house showing on a sunny day in a nice neighborhood. Character development? None whatsoever. By the end of the movie you won't know these two girls any better than you did the first moment you laid eyes on them.

Eventually the retarded guy realizes that he's supposed to kill the girls, so he chases them around a bit. Is he scary? No, he's got a couple of warts and a bit of a lump on his forehead. He's more pathetic than frightening. Any normal person could kill this guy, or at least get away from him, with little problem at all. He's retarded. Unfortunately, so are the girls, which is the only reason this whole stalk sequence lasts longer than a couple of minutes.

So this eventually winds down to its inevitable Hills Have Eyes ripoff climax, followed by one of the most ridiculous twist endings I've ever seen. I sat there thinking "Surely they don't think their audience is stupid enough to buy this?".

Anything good about this movie? Well, one of the girls is wearing a tight tank top, unfortunately the thing might as well have been made out of Kevlar. I think the jackets worn by firefighters might be made out of thicker, heavier material than this tank top, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. No character development, no story, no atmosphere, boring, stupid; That about covers it.

Black Swarm

Pretty bad, even by direct-to-video standards
So the military is conducting experiments into weaponizing wasps. A guy named Eli (Robert Englund, best known for his portrayal of Freddie Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies) is in charge of it. He's got a huge, top secret research facility located under a small town. Even though pretty much any random manhole you go down leads to this lab, nobody's found it. And then there's the sheriff. She just moved there from Manhattan. She meets her deceased husband's identical twin brother, and strikes up a romance with him. She's also got a kid. I just love precocious kids in movies, doesn't everybody? Several people in town are stung by Eli's killer wasps and turn into zombies. Nobody notices. The sheriff, with her kid, then meet Eli. She's holds him at gunpoint, as he is the person responsible for the wasp attacks. But I guess she has a rather rapid change of heart, because after about two minutes she puts her kid in Eli's care so that she can run off and do whatever it is she's going to do with the dead husband's lookalike. I found that rather odd. The big rule in this movie is that when killer wasps attack, you must immediately leave the safety of whatever building you're in and try to make it to the other side of town, where perhaps you'll find another building, which might be safe. Yup, makes perfect sense, doesn't it? This line of thinking is responsible for the majority of wasp deaths during the movie.

Anyhow, We got the kid entrusted to the bad guy, Mrs. Sheriff running around getting friendly with the dead husband's brother, the requisite cornball explosion ending, yadda yadda yadda. At one point mom and kid are fleeing a building because attack helicopters are about to destroy it. Instead of taking her kid by the hand and running, mom decides to leave her with Eli. Mom runs away to safety. Gee kid, hope you have as good a luck as I did! If you've seen one low budget bee movie, you've pretty much seen them all. This one is remarkable only for the blatant idiocy of the characters. Special effects were pretty good, much better than the movie deserved. The plot was more Z-grade than B-grade. Acting was spotty, good in some cases and lousy in others.

One thing I cannot figure out: At one point, sheriff babe takes her sheriff shirt off, and is only wearing a T-shirt. Okay, she looks sexy, and the movie makers obviously did this to add some sex appeal to the movie. Otherwise it's just stupid. So why then, two minutes later, do they have her put a sweatshirt on? I mean, you get her into a T-shirt because you know full well this movie doesn't have anything else going for it, and then you almost immediately have her put some other shirt on? Hello? WHY in god's name would they do that?

Monster Ark

Not all that bad for a Sci-Fi Original
Caught this last night on its Sci-Fi Channel premiere. It started out pretty good, with some archaeologists discovering a hidden room in some sort of ancient temple in the Middle East. Inside, they find a jar containing the last of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They're almost killed as the room is booby trapped to fill with sand. But they make it back to the US and the lead archaeologist contacts his ex-wife who, true to the cliché, is the big expert on deciphering ancient scrolls. We get plenty of back-story on these two: The archaeologist was accused by one of his students of sexual misconduct, he was eventually exonerated but his wife left him anyways. She's not the least bit likable and basically makes a fool out of herself trying to act all self-righteous even though she was in the wrong.

As it turns out, the scroll they've discovered tells the story of Noah, who actually built two arks. The first was to transport some nasty creature to a place where it couldn't harm anyone. So, it's off to Iraq to track down this first ark. And this is where the movie takes a big turn for the worst. Up until now it wasn't too bad, with a nice mix of characters and a plot that didn't really violate my suspension of disbelief. But then we meet the military guys in Iraq, lead by Tiny Lister. Tiny as always comes off as completely over the top, like some sort of professional wrestler. End suspension of disbelief, we just got stupid. So, after a few scenes lifted directly from Raiders of the Lost Ark, they find the remains of the ark and a big box inside it. They open the box and out comes the killer CGI critter. It's not the worst CGI monster I've seen, but perhaps that's because I watch a lot of these Sci-Fi originals. Of course it's impervious to any sort of weapons fire, which doesn't stop the military guys from chasing it around and shooting it hundreds of times.

There's also a subplot about some secret organization, which seems to be involved with the US military. They've known all along about this awful creature and are charged with making sure it never gets discovered or released. Basically this is all lifted straight from The Mummy movie starring Brendan Frasier. The guy in charge of this organization even looks like a low rent version of Ardeth Bay from that movie. Anyhow, together with our archaeologist they eventually figure out how to stop the creature. And there's yet another subplot about our main archaeologist finding faith in God.

Overall, it started out quite nicely but then descended into stupid-ville as soon as Tiny Lister hit the screen. And one really has to ask: What sort of film makers blatantly rip off half their scenes and ideas from other movies? If you have absolutely no interest in expressing your own creativity, why in the world would you take up film making as a career? Still, the plot was basically interesting, the characters - other than Tiny Lister - were pretty good, and I made it to the end without any undue disappointment. I'll give it a "slightly above average for a Sci-Fi Original" 4 out of 10 stars.


The Hills Have Eyes now has an unofficial sequel
Eight people who apparently work at a video game company go out into the woods for a corporate retreat. Once there, they encounter hulking inbreds who pick them off one by one. Character development is poor, you've basically got the loud mouth guy, the girl with wavy hair, the one without wavy hair, the guy in the FBI hat, and the rest are indistinguishable from one another.

The plot actually starts out pretty well, but towards the end it turns into an unintentional laugh fest. I don't think I've ever seen characters in a movie act so stupidly, or seen so many unbelievable things happen one after another. One guy (loudmouth, I believe) gets impaled by two branches, then successfully holds off the bad guys by shooting them with a rifle, hitting them at ranges out to 60 yards or so without aiming, while still impaled the whole time. Another guy hits somebody with a pistol from a distance of about 100+ yards. Heck of a shot for a video game designer. As they are on the run from the bad guys, our characters travel at about 1 mph, stopping to leisurely explore and old house, have a nice chat about how lost they are while one girl has a nervous breakdown, and generally being as annoying as humanly possible.

Overall, I'd almost say this is so bad it's good, but it's a Spike TV original, and the fact that they show about 15 minutes of commercials during the last 30 minutes of the movie makes it not worth the effort to sit through.


A return to the bad old days of Sci-Fi Channel originals
A WASP air crew is ferrying a bomber to Hawaii in WWII. When they arrive, they're immediately ordered to take an officer and some secret cargo to an island in the Pacific. What could the secret cargo be? It's near the end of WWII, it's in a bomber, and they're going to an island near Japan? The only reason anyone watching this didn't guess the cargo immediately was that they gave the writers too much credit for originality. Surely it couldn't be THAT obvious? Yes, it is. As they're flying over the ocean, they encounter bad weather and are attacked by pterodactyls. Hmmm...WWII, bomber, giant flying creatures, where have I heard that before? Maybe in Reign of the Gargoyles, which Sci-Fi aired a few months back? Anyhow, they make an emergency landing on a small island, and battle a couple of Japanese soldiers and a hoard of pterodactyls for the remainder of the movie.

A women's air crew that's been working with each other for a while could have been very interesting, a lot more interesting than a male air crew - give the women some credit! But no, the things that come out of these people's mouths are just dumb and obvious. The lead female absolutely can't accept the fact that there are secrets during war and she's not allowed to know them, which puts her at odds with the officer throughout the movie. So basically we get 60 minutes of arguing. The rest of the female characters are as interchangeable as their bright red lipstick and '40s hairdos. Having characters argue throughout a movie is the cheapest of cop-outs when it comes to dialog. There's only the thinnest veneer of character development, and it just gets darned annoying after an hour of listening to it.

The worst part is that the characters dress like it was 1945, but that's it. What draws a person in to any drama set in the past is the difference in culture and attitudes. It's 1945, the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and we're at war with them, and yet the lead woman is horrified that we might drop an A-bomb on our enemy. "Thousands could be killed!" she exclaims. Oh good grief. Three hundred thousand Germans were killed in allied bombing raids, yet this is the first time it's occurred to her that bombs kill people? The Women's Airforce Service Pilots only existed to free up more men to fly combat missions - to kill more of the enemy. Thousands of them. Why would she volunteer for such a thing if she's horrified at the notion of the enemy being killed? People in 1945 were too worried about how many of their sons, husbands and boyfriends were being killed by the Japanese to engage in this politically correct nonsense anyway.

The CGI is also bad, and the direction is just sloppy. One of my favorite scenes is where they load a bunch of 55 gallon fuel drums onto a truck. Do you know how much one of those things weighs? A little under 500 pounds. Yet two people load them into the truck with just a small amount of feigned difficulty. They arrange them in such a way that as soon as the truck started moving, the drums would all roll out the back. But of course they don't, the magic "this is just a movie" forces holding them firmly in place.

Overall, extremely weak character development, the blatantly obvious PC version of 1945, crummy effects and pterodactyls that quite honestly bored me. Better luck next time Sci-Fi Channel.


Smells like kaka
I'm a big fan of bad movies, but this one isn't enjoyable at all. There's a secret government research lab (the basement of an abandoned house), and some scientist is making a monster. Of course it kills him, and some people are sent from Washington to investigate. Much of the movie is spent with these three idiots prattling about how bad they need to go to the bathroom, how they can't change a flat tire, etc. Some teenagers also wander into the abandoned house, and eventually the monster kills one of them. There are also some stupid cops who spend a lot of time sitting in their car and talking like idiots. That's basically two-thirds of the movie - government idiots arguing in a car, idiot cops being buffoons in a car, and teenagers yakking about teenage stuff in a dark house.

In the end, the government people finally arrive and there's the incredibly crappy conclusion. Everything about this is bad, mostly the dialog, but the acting and camera-work take a close second. The whole film looks blue for some reason, it's so dark you can't see what's going on. Not that you really care.

Overall, this movie has absolutely none of the fun or amusement that low budget movies can sometimes provide. Avoid it at all costs, it's almost impossible to sit through.

Bats: Human Harvest

Not too bad
This is about some soldiers (Delta force, of course) who are sent into Chechnya to retrieve an American (mad) scientist who has decided to sell his services to the highest bidder. In this case, the Chechen rebels. He's made some killer bats for them. There are also some Russian soldiers (Spetsnaz of course) wandering around providing fodder for the bats. I don't think the Russians were too highly trained, they pile out of their truck and are ordered to secure the area, yet they stand around like a bunch of high school kids waiting for band practice to start. Anyhow, the Americans capture the mad scientist, but then the Chechen rebels show up and try to get him back. We get plenty of bat attacks, a lot of bats flying around ominously and unnoticed, and the requisite number of explosions.

The acting is actually pretty descent and the special effects looked alright. You can tell all the helicopters are CGI but it doesn't jump out at you like a laughable special effect, unlike most of these Sci-Fi Originals. The bats looked pretty good, though I find it a bit hard to believe that a bat has enough mass and velocity to actually sever someone's arm, but oh's sci-fi. The story is a bit of a mess, especially near the end when one of the Americans is captured by the Russians and is about to be taken away on a helicopter. But then the helicopter pilot flips up her visor and it turns out to be the American CIA operative. So she infiltrated the Russian base, took out the pilot, hid his body someplace, changed into his clothes, and can even pilot a helicopter? I guess those Russian's really are poorly trained. You know they just had to have that flipping up the visor scene because it was sooooo cool, the "money shot", lol.

If you're the type of person who watches these Sci-Fi Channel Originals, this one is a cut above the majority of them. I'd recommend a few beers to dull your senses to some of its flaws, but it's a fairly enjoyable film overall. The characters are basically likable, the action moves along okay, and stuff blows up. The scene where the mad scientist meets his fate is quite cool and actually was a really interesting twist on the whole "camouflaging yourself from the enemy" thing.

Wraiths of Roanoke

Surprisingly un-retarded for a Sci-Fi Original
In the 1500's, a group of English settlers arrive at the island of Roanoke, only to find the soldiers left to guard the fort have all gone missing, save for one who has hung himself. A cryptic message written in ancient Norse is left scrawled in his own blood, warning the settlers of dangers in the woods. Having little choice but to stay, the settlers try to make the best of their situation, but one pregnant woman begins having nightmares of horrible creatures taking her baby. Soon these creatures start appearing and attacking the settlers, and a life or death struggle ensues over the course of the movie.

Overall, this was surprisingly un-retarded for a Sci-Fi Original. The atmosphere of the small colony was quite nice and made me feel as if I was actually in the 1500's trying to survive against all odds. The special effects were adequate, I've seen better but I've seen much, much worse. Acting was also adequate, though character development was severely limited and left me feeling little connection to any of the settlers. And there lies the problem, with little connection to the characters, I had only moderate interest in the story, so the movie can't really be given more than a 5/10 average rating. Still, if you're looking for a satisfactory waste of two hours that won't insult your intelligence with childish editing gimmickry, atrocious acting and comically absurd story elements like so many other Sci-Fi Originals, then this film wouldn't be a bad choice.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Well, this was about as awful as it possibly could have been.
Bo and Luke, two good ol' boys. Except here they're not good old boys, they're over the top morons. Bo is borderline psychotic in his idiocy in fact. Watching them on screen is enough to make you cringe every 30 seconds or so. The plot revolves around Boss Hogg, played by a bored and disinterested Burt Reynolds, finding coal under the Duke farm. He frames them for running moonshine and takes their farm, so Bo races the General Lee in the 70th Annual Hazzard cross country race and somehow that causes them to get their farm back.

The only thing good about this pile of crap is watching Jessica Simpson strut around in a variety of sexy outfits. Everything else has been ruined. The people who made this obviously had no interest in the original, which drew people in with its down-home country peacefulness, the simple but good people who lived there, and the daring exploits of a couple of likable good ol' boys. They apparently thought that the fans of this show would be so stupid that as long as there's car jumps and a sexy woman, nobody would care about the rest. They actually seem to have gone out of their way to be insulting to the people who liked the original. And they entirely missed the point - the humor of the Dukes of Hazzard wasn't over-the-top Jim Carrey style crap.

In conclusion, skip this thing. It's movies like this that are the reason that everybody hates remakes. It wasn't the least bit funny, certainly not "endearing" like the original, it was just flat out putrid.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

One of the better Playstation 3 games, but laughable as a movie
I was so excited to see this that when we got a free Cinemax preview, this was the first movie I watched. (sarcasm off) It follows the exploits of Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi as they make their way through some sort of war between the Republic and the Separatists, while at the same time Anakin has a lot of conversations with his girlfriend and also goes over to the dark side of the force. A few major problems here:

1) The acting and dialog are beyond pathetic. I can only imagine George Lucas storming around the set yelling "Less emotion!", "Say it like you don't mean it!", and "Monotone, please!". The characters seems almost totally disconnected with what's going on in the movie. I've never seen more dispirited performances. As Count Dokoo says- "You have hate, you have anger, but you don't use them".

2) The special effects. This movie is all CGI, I wonder if there were more than 3 actual human beings on camera. This stuff all looks like it's right out of a Playstation 3 game. Although the scenes and effects are nothing if not bombastic, it doesn't look real. Worse yet, Lucas isn't concerned with realism, he's more concerned with how much junk he can squeeze into every digital camera frame. Many of the CGI characters look downright humorous in their lack of detail. It's especially telling that Lucas seems to have put more work into the environments than the characters, as people are obviously his lowest priority. There's a huge space battle at the beginning, and Anakin and Obi-Wan fly their fighters through it like a couple of motorcyclists weaving their way through a traffic jam. The trouble is the viewer has no idea which ships are fighting for which side, and there really doesn't seem to be too much fighting going on. The climactic battle at the end, on a planet which is covered in molten lave, reminded me of a "boss battle" in a video game. Although these environments could have been quite interesting, the fact that they're all CGI and don't look real destroys the interest and leaves one feeling like they're watching someone else play a video game.

3) The plot. Apparently there's a war between the Republic and some other force, maybe they're separatists, maybe some robot called General Grievous controls them, maybe they're in league with Emperor Palpatine, I have no idea. One wonders why the robotic general doesn't make a backup copy of himself, thereby making himself virtually invincible. Lucas isn't good at telling anything but the simplest story, and he makes a mess out of this complex plot. The scenes with Anakin's girlfriend are good for nothing but running to the fridge to get another beer. The same could truthfully be said about any scene which doesn't involve any sort of shooting, chopping, or use of the force.

4) The action. I got bored watching Anakin and Obi Wan mow through droids with their light sabers within the first 30 seconds. There were hours more of this yawn-inducing spinning a whooshing to come. What really ruins it is half these droids speak like 6-year old kids talking through a voice synthesizer. They're supposed to be formidable, but they're stupid. Some of the droids look like they belong on a Tele-Tubbies episode. I already mentioned the space battle at the beginning, in which you can't tell which ships belong to which side and the whole thing rushes past so fast that you don't get much of a sense of anything. The whole middle part of the movie is just a bunch of talking, silliness with Yoda who Lucas tries very hard to make look powerful and angry but only succeeded in making me laugh. And puh-leeze, listening to this little green blob of computer animation put his predicates before his subjects is just getting really old. Then there's the big battle at the end which looks exactly like a video game, followed by an epilogue where we're subjected to yet more laughable acting and eventually the original Star Wars theme music plays, reminding us how good these movies were 25 years ago, and how awful and downright childish they've become today.


Zero-budget Hellraiser type movie
Twenty years ago, a young girl is abused by her father. Hellinger, a character like pinhead except without the pins and with a horrible habit of massive overacting, shows up and kills her father. In the present day, the girl is still haunted by memories. There's a televangelist who wants her to attend some event. I have absolutely no idea what this guy is doing in the movie as the two seem to have little if any connection to each other, and he serves no purpose in the story. There's a cop who is apparently the girl's cousin. He's covered in tattoos over every inch of his body and yes, we get to see every inch of his body on more than one occasion. Talk about gross. There's also the girl's psychiatrist, who lives in a small apartment that the film makers rather comically try to pass off as some sort of office. He has a long conversation with the cop, the contents of which are such utter nonsense that it would almost be funny if it wasn't so boring.

So the cop investigates stuff that has little to do with Hellinger, the girl goes out with her boyfriend and Hellinger shows up and kills him, and there's a very brutal rape / murder scene which is shown in graphic detail. The entire plot is explained in the last ten minutes of the movie, and it would have only taken about three minutes if Hellinger didn't talk so damned slow.

I'll give the movie an extra point for getting the lead actress to take her top off, she's quite attractive. And the victim in the rape scene did a very realistic job of acting, so that gets an extra point as well. So that's three total. Otherwise it's just amateurish, with atrocious acting and the dialog sometimes completely drowned out by road noise and the tacky soundtrack. Most of the scenes in this movie are just filler and serve no purpose except to pad out the run time. As far as zero budget trash goes, this isn't quite the bottom of the barrel, but you can see the bottom from here.

Dead 7

Considering the zero budget, this actually wasn't too bad
If you can get past the introduction by that moron with the spiked hair, and maybe past the first five minutes or so of the movie itself which are just footage of lizards in the desert, this is actually fairly enjoyable. The budget was obviously zilch, so you get the usual amateurish stuff like reverb off the walls whenever dialogue is spoken and a soundtrack that starts and stops instead of fades in and out. But the story is rather interesting: A pair of drug dealers kill a guy out in the woods and throw his body down an old mineshaft. A deaf mute guy happens upon the scene, so they have to toss him down the shaft as well. A few months later, the drug dealers and their girlfriends mysteriously start getting killed off, and we're finally rewarded with a fairly satisfying conclusion.

Best parts: Tracy Keijser is absolutely adorable in this, and she gives us a nice topless sex scene. Her butt looks pretty fantastic in a red thong as well. Tanya Dempsey is certainly no slouch either, she's very fine looking but I don't think we get any nudity from her. The acting overall was pretty good considering the budget, I've seen worse in stuff that cost much, much more. The story moves along well and the characters are for the most part written to be quite interesting and believable. Like other reviewers have said, this is almost unbelievable coming from Brain Damage films.

I'd recommend this to people who are into zero budget slashers.

Carnage Road

Little "carnage", certainly not legendary, and Quiltface? Ha ha ha ha
I picked this up for a buck and a half, expecting something, well, worth a buck and a half. But those expectations seemed far too lofty after viewing this thing. I can't imagine this took more than an afternoon to film, and between the acting, writing, directing, and camera-work, it's impossible to believe that anyone involved in this project has ever worked in the field of film making before, nor should they again.

Basically, four kids go out to the desert to do an extra-credit project for their photography class. We get lots of long shots - we're talking an entire minute - of this group slowly walking towards the camera. Have you ever used the 4X zoom feature on your DVD player to try to follow something around through an action sequence, using the arrow keys on your remote to keep the zoomed in image centered on what you want to see? That's what the camera-work in this movie reminded me of. As the kids walk from the right side of the screen to the left, the camera operator waits until they're almost out of the frame, then jerkily swivels the camera so that they're now on the right edge of the screen. They walk from one edge of the screen to the other, then we get another jerky movement to put them back on the right of the screen. This goes on for, as I said, and entire minute. Then the kids take a few pictures of each other standing in front of things, like a family on vacation would. This is for a photography class? Then they walk away. We see their entire journey.

My favorite laughable part in this thing is when Quiltface attacks two people. You know how damsels in distress tend to fall down when chased by a bad guy? We're treated to not one, not two, but THREE repetitions of this cliché in a row. Probably withing 60 seconds of each other.

Quiltface is a joke, wearing a rubber Halloween mask straight off the shelf at K-mart. The film makers obviously purchased one of those gag machetes with a piece cut out of the middle of it so that if placed against a person, it looks like it is embedded in them. Everyone in the movie gets this gag pulled on them, and we get to see the camera linger on these scenes for a humorously large amount of time. Our main character starts crying like a baby for the entire second half of the movie. This whole thing takes place in broad daylight, making any attempt at "horror" utterly laughable.

Overall, if you want a sure cure for insomnia, this might be just what you're looking for. Unfortunately I can't give it one star, because I have seen worse. But only in movies I've purchased for less than a buck and a half.

Camp Fear

Had potential, but turned into a mess.
This movie starts out the way every movie should start out, with a bunch of hot babes in a dorm walking around in their undies and/or topless. A couple of them take showers. I'm liking it so far! Unfortunately, we then meet or main characters. They're just not particularly likable. Usually in these movies, the actresses aren't really acting, they give very "natural" performances, and they're quite sympathetic, fun, and likable. Not here. They don't have much of any personality and I didn't care for them much.

Some of the girls go on a camping trip for school. On the way they stop at a backwoods gas station and meet a biker gang. The biker gang should really have been left out of the movie - it was cheesy before, but now it's just plain stupid. The head biker looks like a middle aged guy dressed up as John Bon Jovi for Halloween. The girls go out to the woods and later the biker gang follows them.

I don't really know what the heck happens after that. There's a bunch of stuff about the world ending because it's the end of the millennium, then some of the bikers get killed by a mysterious Indian dude who keeps disappearing. Somebody gets eaten by a cheesy Lock Ness Monster thing as he's swimming across a lake. Some guy in silly makeup is apparently a Druid, and he needs to sacrifice some of the girls in order to forestall the end of the world. Or maybe cause the end of the world, I'm afraid I wasn't paying much attention. First he dresses the girls up in animal skin lingerie.

It could have been a really fun cheesy movie, but the biker gang kind of ruined the atmosphere and the plot was so scatterbrained that it didn't even live up to my grade Z schlock expectations. They really should have eliminated half the plot elements and just focused on one or two things. Instead it's all over the place. Overall, if you're looking for late '80 schlock, I imagine you could do worse. If you tried really hard. There's plenty of nudity at the beginning, but the characters are kind of crummy and the plot is too nonsensical to be even the least bit satisfying.


Probably the most amateurish effort I've ever witnessed
I don't think it really matters too much what the plot of this movie is about, the main thing you'll notice is the extreme amateurishness of the entire production. The acting is what you'd get if you chose people at random off the street. The sound is really annoying - a medicine cabinet closes with all the gusto of a gunshot going off in your ear, while at the same time the dialog is perhaps one-fifth as loud. Miscellaneous on-set noises dominate the soundtrack to a huge degree, with dialog taking a distant back seat. The theme music sounds as if it was about a quarter done when the movie was released, as large portions of the film don't have any music at all. Camera-work can best be described as a gnarled mess, with close-up shots where a medium angle would be much better, cameramen walking around and jostling the camera every which way, absolutely no attention paid to framing any scene, they just shot everything from whatever position it was most convenient for the cameraman to stand. If the cameraman was a foot taller than the actors and you end up looking at the tops of everyone's heads, well, so be it. Editing is just a butcher job; Everything is tossed together in the most abrupt manner possible, nothing flows or transitions in any sense of the word. I don't know if this was shot on video or perhaps a rented camcorder, I tend to think it was the latter.

I only made it about three-quarters of the way through this thing before I turned it off, I just got so annoyed at the low quality of the production I couldn't take it anymore. It's like a ninth grade audio-visual class project.

Baba Yaga

More boring Eurotrash rubbish
A communist girl who's utterly uninteresting nor sympathetic meets a weird woman. Later she takes some topless photos of a her friend (apparently she's a "professional" photographer). Then she meets some guy and they talk about pretentious beatnik crap for ever and ever. This has nothing to do with the plot of the movie, they're just killing time. I turned it off at this point, I was bored out of my mind. It's like a particularly dumb 14 year old's idea of the perfect day. I got to see a topless woman, then we cruised around town and talked about how we're going to overthrow the government, because the government should give everybody everything they want, and they're not, so we're gonna overthrow them! The acting was bad, the dialog was laughable, the overall look of the film was extremely cheap, and looking at the shapeless triangles that passed for the lead actress' chest ruined my appetite.

Witchcraft XII: In the Lair of the Serpent

Not too horrible
A guy and his sister go to a club where girls dance in bikinis. The guy is lured away by some ugly slut, they go back to her place and have sex, then a guy in a Darth Maul Halloween mask kills him. The sister teams up with some guy who used to be the victim's best friend and they investigate the murder. For no reason at all, the police are very against this guy helping with the investigation, even though he's the only one finding any clues. The best friend and the sister eventually get together for some sex as well. The sister is the only thing that's really any good about this thing - she's quite good looking and wears a variety of sexy outfits. She also gets nude on several occasions.

Eventually they track the other sluts from the nightclub back to their lair, where they're apparently involved in some sort of witches coven.

Like I say, the sister is the only reason anyone would keep watching this thing past the 15 minute mark. The movie is fairly amateurish overall, though the acting isn't too terribly bad. It's quite tolerable. The "plot" is fairly laughable, but this is one of those cheesy movies that really just exist to show off some female flesh. It succeeds in that respect.

Slash Dance

Supremely cheesy and amateurish, but watchable
Girls auditioning for a dance company start disappearing. A cop from the LAPD goes undercover to investigate. What she finds is, well, the murders seem forgotten for much of the movie. She mostly just dances (like some remedial aerobics class), turns down propositions from one of her fellow cops, and endures a lot of conversations with the chief of police, who wants to run for political office. She also has flashbacks about her sister who died of a drug overdose and her mother who committed suicide because of her daughter's death. This has absolutely nothing to do with the plot.

The good: Well, we do get some hot babes in really sexy '80s leotards. Unfortunately the video quality on the DVD is very poor, obviously this was made from an old and somewhat worn-out video tape, so it's hard to appreciate them too much.

The bad: Everything else. Like I said, the plot is pretty much forgotten for the entire middle part of the movie. There's absolutely no tension or suspense. There are no killings in this part of the movie, and no police investigation. It's completely boring except for the hot babes in their leotards. Acting is pretty bad, and half the characters seem to be attempting some sort of comedy, none of which works. The production is very amateurish; I especially got a kick out of the way they use scenes of downtown Hollywood as transitions between other scenes, and these transition scenes have no soundtrack - just complete silence.

Overall, this movie comes in a ten-movie set, and so it's very, very inexpensive. I would be pretty mad if I paid full price for this DVD alone, but as part of this set, I can hardly complain. It's too boring to be so-bad-it's-good, but it is a nice glimpse at some of the micro-budget junk that was turned out in the straight-to-video market in the late '80s. I'd choose it over some of the micro-budget junk turned out today. It's just a cryin' shame that nobody bothered to track down the original film of this movie to use for the DVD transfer, I would have really liked to see those babes with better video quality.

Alien Terminator

Not too much to like unfortunately
This is about some people who, for the past two years, have been living in some sort of laboratory 5 miles underground. They're involved in an experiment to study the effects of isolation on human beings. One of the members, unbeknownst to the others, is conducting experiments into altering DNA to produce the ultimate killing machine. It's kind of hard to believe that 6 people could live together in a very small environment for 2 years without anyone knowing what this guy was up to, but there you have it. This mad scientist is also a crystal meth addict, and he's generally annoying and unlikable. Unfortunately, the rest of the characters aren't much better. There is one nice girl named Rachel, and she's engaged to the only other halfway descent character. There's also an obnoxious girl, a guy with long hair who looks like he should be playing guitar in a country and western act, and some fat guy named Coach.

So, mad scientist creates monster which gets loose, everybody gets picked off one by one, and in a scene straight out of the movie Leviathan, the evil corporation that's running the whole thing decides it would be easier to announce that they all died down there than to let them live and explain their illegal DNA experiments.

The worst part of the movie is the sets and photography. The underground lab is so small and dark that we never get the feeling these people are moving from one location to another in their attempts to escape the monster. The camera is always zooming around at weird angles and basically annoying the crap out of the viewer, which doesn't help either. Also, you just don't care for the majority of these people. The monster attacks are photographed in such a way that you can't tell what's going on, so the excitement level is kept low. And there are just so many stupid things happening that it's impossible to take anything seriously. For instance, everyone must take a five mile elevator ride to get from the lab to the surface, but in the last half of the movie they seem to forget about this and the lab is all of a sudden right next to the hatch on the surface. At one point a girl takes a propane torch and quickly runs the flame around the edges of a ventilation hatch - I'm guessing we were supposed to think she welded it shut? Yeah, right. We're really that stupid. There's also a bunch of nonsense with a countdown until the life support system is turned off, at which point I guess everyone instantly dies? Or maybe the whole facility blows up? This countdown is announced by a computer that sounds like it should be working in the phone sex industry. Using a word processor creates a voice like a slow motion version of the computer from War Games. The dialogue is also dumb, the best example being when the first guy gets killed and instead of immediately abandoning the facility, they decide they owe it to the company to finish out the last two hours down there.

Overall, crummy sets, bothersome camera work, characters that for the most part are either annoying or else you don't care if they live or die, and a bunch of stupidity. I'm normally a huge fan of these low budget Alien ripoff movies, but I'm afraid I have to recommend skipping this one. There just isn't anything to redeem it.

Legion of the Dead

Fairly entertaining in that so-bad-it's-good way
Some kids are riding dirt bikes in Southern California, and one of them falls into a hole. What's in the hole? Well, an ancient Egyptian burial chamber of course. Archaeologists are called in to investigate, and they end up awakening the spirit of the evil priestess. She uses her "legion" of mummies (at least 5 or 6 of them) to track down a virgin and bring them back for sacrifice. She also spends a great deal of time running around nude, taking a skinny-dip in a hotel pool, killing some guy for a reason I can't remember, etc.

The main character is a female archaeologist (the "star" according to the advertising is Bruce Boxleitner, but he's only in a few scenes). She's actually the high point of the movie, acting-wise. She gives a fairly descent performance, and she's certainly not bad to look at. Her plot is mostly concerned with the fact that she has to work with a guy who used to like her, but she betrayed him by sleeping with one of her professors, who she also has to work with. Will she be able to defeat the evil priestess and her "legion" of undead, while at the same time fending off advances from her professor and patching things up with the guy she likes? You'll have to tune in and see for yourself.

Overall, the action in this movie is quite silly, and if you're into so-bad-they're-good movies, this should fit the bill. It's a fairly fast paced, fun romp, though the "climax" is a bit of a letdown as it's actually a bit more dull than the lead-up to it, but oh well.

Alien Incursion

Breaks all the usual genre rules
This is about a meteor that crashes to Earth, bringing with it some alien snake-like things that crawl into human flesh, to gestate. This all happens out in the deep woods, as a group of campers, a forest ranger and her father, and a group of black-op's military types battle the critters as well as each other. The military guys want to bring one of the aliens back to study, while everyone else just wants to get out of the woods alive.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The dialog is surprisingly witty, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the sarcastic, offhand comments. Also, if you're used to movies where you can tell who will ultimately live and die within the first 10 minutes, this one will come as a surprise. It not only seems to take great pleasure in killing off characters when you least expect it, but the characters you would expect to be killed off first actually end up becoming somewhat of the heroes of the story. And the most unbelievable thing is that the military folks aren't portrayed as the usual bumbling morons that we see in 99% of these sorts of movies. They're evil, but they're actually fairly competent.

The only real negative mark against this film is that the CGI monsters look pretty fake, which is pretty much universal in any movie that uses CGI, except maybe a few scenes here and there in real mega-budget stuff.

Overall, if you're a fan of low budget monster movies, this one is quite a bit better than average.

Deep Freeze

Really awful in every way, shape and form
Some people are drilling for oil in Antarctica. This has caused the continent to become unstable, and a giant chunk of it is going to fall off. It has also caused the hole in the ozone layer. Okay, first off, this is idiotic. For another thing, none of this even happens in the movie. They don't have any sort of drilling facility, they've got a pool of water. They don't have any workers, just three guys who never do anything but hang out in the cafeteria and the dorm. All we see is people walking around, standing around, and talking. They TELL us all this stuff is happening. There are also giant beetles that are supposedly dangerous. We don't see them until the last five minutes of the movie. It looks like a couple of characters are holding large turtle shells to their chests and pretending to be attacked.

As if that's not enough, the characters are annoying. The lead female goes on an tiresomely clichéd environmentalist rant about how the whole world is pretty much coming to an end because of this drilling facility. The lead male asks her what proof she has, she says none. She just knows that oil is bad. Good lord.

The only, and I mean ONLY thing worthy of note in this pile of crap is that there's a babe early in the movie who strips down to her bra. I guess she's a well-known model in Germany or something. She looks really good.

Overall this movie is just a joke. There's no plot, just people walking around telling us that things are happening, but we never see anything. If you're making a movie involving oil drilling, why build a set of a pool of water instead of an oil drilling rig? You could just have cockroaches crawling out of the hole, and later they grow, because they're prehistoric or something. There's also no blood, even though it's a movie about creatures killing people. The attacks are laughable, the characters either unnoticeable or else tediously clichéd and unlikable. There's absolutely no scares. The climax is...oh jeez. It's just like the rest of the movie: pathetic.


Tedious and mildly annoying
Some kids decide to buy a whole pile of weed from some Mexicans. The deal goes down in a series of tunnels that run under the US / Mexico border. The tunnels are haunted by killer ghosts. The trouble is, these kids just aren't written or acted very well. Cerina Vincent is the movie's sole high point: She at least manages to be likable, though not terribly interesting. The other kids are all fairly annoying. There's one girl on crutches who can't keep up with the others when the ghosts start attacking, she whines a lot, wants to stay put until somebody comes to rescue them, wants to dig her way out; she's basically an overemotional moron. Edward Furlong's character is also quite annoying. He starts freaking out and basically losing it once the situation gets too stressful for him. At one point he gets stabbed in the leg and Cerina has to physically drag his fat butt around for the rest of the movie. It's a chore to watch, especially since he whines and moans and whimpers the whole damned time. There's a couple of other guys as well, they're not really worth mentioning. They run around a lot, eventually getting killed.

The ghosts aren't very impressive at all, they just look like goofy CGI creations. The movie isn't scary, it's just tedious. It might have worked if the writer had given these people some interesting, personality-driven things to say, but instead it's all just annoying, melodramatic crap. There's basically no plot. Ghosts menace kids, they run, repeat repeat repeat. Some guy is apparently in control of the ghosts, his kid was killed in the tunnels long ago. How did this make him boss of the ghost? I have no idea. Like I say, the only good thing about this movie is watching Cerina run around in a tight T-shirt. That's always nice to watch.

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes

Not too bad
In a small town, the local funeral home is, shall we say, seriously screwed up. The cremation furnace quit working, and the employees decided that they could make some extra money by teaming up with the local doctor and extracting organs from the bodies, to be sold on the black market. This whole scandal is blown wide open at the beginning of the movie, and a whole shed full of bodies is carried out for the town's residents to see. The worst part is that the sheriff informs everyone that there may not even be a law against what the funeral home employees did. So, a small group of people decide that vengeance must be served, and they make a trip to see the old lady who lives out in the woods.

We see a whole lot of Pumpkinhead in this movie, probably too much. A combination of a guy in a suit and CGI is used. The suit doesn't look especially scary this time, probably because we see so much of it, and the CGI unfortunately looks rather comical at times. This movie follows a different path than the original, as the unscrupulous doctor knows how Pumpkinhead was stopped the first time - with the death of the person who summoned him - so he spends the movie stalking the townsfolk who summoned the beast while Pumpkinhead spends the movie stalking the funeral home employees.

Overall, the story is pretty interesting, though it gets a bit redundant as every time Pumpkinhead is about to kill the doctor, the doctor kills one of the townsfolk who summoned him, giving him just the few moments he needs to escape. The acting is quite good for one of these low budget movies, and the mix of characters is very interesting. For the funeral home employees, we've got a slutty chick who's also a crystal meth addict, and the all-grown-up but still not so bright kid from the original movie who showed Ed Harley where to find the old lady in the woods. The doctor character is especially well done, being played by Doug Bradley, he fools the townsfolk into thinking he's a pillar of the community while at the same time he's dissecting their late family members. Lance Henrickson keeps showing up as the ghost of the guy from the original movie.

I enjoyed this movie. It's not anything great, but it was a lot better than most movies that I've seen premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel. The action keeps moving at a satisfactory pace and the characters are well done and had me at least somewhat interested in their plight. In the end, my only real complaint is that it wasn't nearly as scary as the original, mostly because we see so much of Pumpkinhead that we get pretty used to him and he loses his impact.

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